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Diet and Nutrition 2023

Zeaxanthin: what é, what it is for and rich foods

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Zeaxanthin: what é, what it is for and rich foods
Zeaxanthin: what é, what it is for and rich foods

Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid very similar to lutein, which gives a yellow-orange pigmentation to foods, being essential for the body, since it is not able to synthesize it, and can be obtained through food intake, such as corn, spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli, peas and egg, for example, or supplementation.

This substance has numerous he alth benefits, such as preventing premature aging and protecting vision from external agents, for example, which is due to its antioxidant properties.


What are the he alth benefits

Due to its antioxidant properties, zeaxanthin has the following he alth benefits:

1. Prevention of cardiovascular diseases

Zeaxanthin prevents atherosclerosis, as it prevents the accumulation and oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the arteries, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

2. Contributes to he althy vision

Zeaxanthin protects the eyes from damage caused by free radicals, as this carotenoid, as well as lutein, are the only ones that are deposited in the retina, being the main components of the macula pigment, protecting the eyes from rays UV rays emitted by the sun, as well as blue light emitted by devices such as computers and mobile phones.

For this reason, zeaxanthin also contributes to the prevention of cataract formation, diabetic retinopathy and age-induced macular degeneration, and helps to alleviate inflammation in people with uveitis.

3. Prevents skin aging

This carotenoid helps protect the skin from ultraviolet damage from the sun, preventing premature aging, improving its appearance, and preventing skin cancer.

In addition, it also helps to prolong the tan, making it more beautiful and uniform.

4. Helps prevent certain diseases

The antioxidant action of zeaxanthin also protects DNA and stimulates the immune system, contributing to the prevention of chronic diseases and some types of cancer. In addition, it also helps to reduce inflammation, due to the ability to decrease inflammatory markers.

Foods Rich in Zeaxanthin

Some foods high in lutein are kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli, peas, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, melon, kiwi, oranges, grapes, peppers, corn and eggs, for example.

In the following table, some foods with zeaxanthin and respective amounts are indicated:

Food Amount of zeaxanthin per 100g
Corn 528 mcg
Spinach 331 mcg
Cabbage 266 mcg
Lettuce 187 mcg
Tangerine 112 mcg
Orange 74 mcg
Pea 58 mcg
Broccoli 23 mcg
Carrot 23 mcg

It is important to note that fat increases the absorption of zeaxanthin, so adding a little olive oil or coconut oil to cooking can increase its absorption.

Supplements with Zeaxanthin

In some cases, supplementation with zeaxanthin may be advised, if the doctor or nutritionist recommends it. Generally, the recommended dose of zeaxanthin is 2 mg per day, however, it is important to note that, in some cases, the doctor may recommend a higher dose, as in the case of smokers, for example.

Some examples of supplements with this carotenoid in the composition are Totavit, Areds, Cosovit or Vivace, for example, which in addition to zeaxanthin may contain other substances in their composition, such as lutein, and certain vitamins and minerals. Also know the benefits of lutein.

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